A companion to the German Shang a Lang compilation, Starke Zeiten offers up a mid-priced overview of the Bay City Rollers' German singles output -- which is not, in fairness, all that different from their output elsewhere around the world, but does throw up a few fascinating anomalies. Was "It's a Game" really their biggest-ever hit in that country (number four in May 1977)? Did "Shang a Lang" truly bottom out at number 41? And did anybody seriously believe that "Where Will I Be Now" was destined for anything higher than the low Top 50? Duplicating just seven of Shang a Lang's contents, Starke Zeiten concentrates on the A-sides of 16 singles, beginning with 1974's "Remember" (vocalist Les McKeown's debut) and wrapping up with the aforementioned "Where Will I Be Now." In between times, the band's German discography is revealed as a helpful amalgamation of the group's U.K. and American release schedules, bringing European glory to such stateside delights as "Saturday Night," "Rock and Roll Love Letter," and the Les McKeown re-cut of "Dedication," before moving on to the lesser-known pastures of "You're a Woman" and "Don't Stop the Music." Indeed, only the absolute breakdown of any chronological sense prevents Starke Zeiten from standing among the greatest of all non-Japanese Rollers roundups -- but, hey, that's what the CD player's "program" button is for.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson